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If you have depression, do you qualify for disability benefits?

People who are unable to work because of a medical condition know how hard it is when their limitations affect their finances. The inability to hold gainful employment leads to financial hardship, especially if that individual expects to have his or her medical condition long-term. If you are facing this situation, you could be eligible for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.

When you think about disability benefits, you may assume this type of support is only available to those who have specific types of medical conditions or physical limitations, but that is not the case. It is possible that a person with a mental condition or disorder could also be eligible for these benefits. This includes some people who struggle with depression. 

Are you eligible?

Not every person with depression will be eligible for disability benefits, but some people have depressive episodes that are so severe that they impede their ability to work. Although it is a valid mental disorder, the Social Security Administration holds a strict definition of when this disorder is actually disabling. Two main types of depressive disorders may qualify a person for benefits: 

  • Persistent depressive disorder -- This is a mental condition in which depression symptoms last for two years or more. These symptoms are always present, but there may be cycles when they are less severe.
  • Major depressive disorder -- This is a type of disorder in which a person suffers from depression symptoms for at least two weeks. A person with this disorder can have cycles of depression that include a worsening of problems.

If you have either one of these diagnoses, you could qualify. It is especially important for you to include the right documentation and evidence in your claim. This includes medical documentation, evidence that illustrates your inability to work, proof of how your depression has impacted your life and more. Lack of sufficient evidence could lead to a denial of your claim.

Why you may need help

If you are applying for disability benefits because you are struggling with depression, you may want to seek the guidance of an experienced West Virginia Social Security attorney. With guidance, you may be able to avoid setbacks with your application and give yourself a higher chance of a successful initial claim. To start, you may want to learn more about disability benefits and eligibility requirements for applicants with depression.

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Shawn Taylor, PLLC
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Charleston, WV 25301

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